With the financial support of the US National Institutes of Health, Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a band-shaped influenza vaccine, which can be applied by humans, without pain.
This “vaccine band” has achieved considerable success in the first tests made. Volunteers participating in the tests say they prefer this ‘band vaccine’ to the normal needle.
On the sticky surface of the band there are a hundred small and feather shaped micro needles penetrating deeply.
It is hoped that people who are afraid of this method will help more people become vaccinated when they are considered.
Unlike the standard influenza vaccine, it does not need to be kept in the fridge, which means pharmacists can safely store them on the shelves.
Band vaccine penetrates deep into the upper layer. The needle used for standard vaccinations reaches deep into the muscles.
Professor Mark Prausnitz, who runs the research, says, “If you look under the microscope, you’ll see that it is a little needles.
The research team tested the vaccine with both needle and tape.
About 100 of the volunteers participating in the tests were vaccinated with the standard syringe. The others used the band strap they had tied in their wrists for 20 minutes.
Most of the people in the second group said that the band did not suffer, but others experienced side effects such as redness, itching and tenderness in the place where band was applied. These symptoms were observed to improve within a few days.
Experts say the band could revolutionize the implementation of influenza and other vaccines.
However, for the widespread use of band-like vaccines, other clinical tests have to be performed in the coming years.
Dr. Emory University. Nadine Rouphael says, “We can apply vaccination at home, at work, and even deliver it by mail.”
It is stated that it can be beneficial especially in developing countries because it can be stored up to a year in room temperature.
Other researchers are also trying to find painless needle application methods. A syringe with micro needles for influenza vaccination was approved for use in the United States.
In Australia, scientists are designing a band that uses even smaller needles.